More Chicago Encounters: a tiny blog


1). Red line el train: Man with uneven red-orange beard sits across from me.  He chuckles as he reads his hardback book.  The book’s dust-jacket shows a sweet-faced young fellow, formally suited up, with a very engaging smile.  Unfortunately, the title of the book is  The Life and Times of Charles Manson.

After a few minutes, the man with the scruffy red-orange beard feels around in his backpack.  He pulls out an enormously long beef jerky.  Two-footer.  Maybe three.  He tears into the plastic wrapper’s top with his teeth, his eyes never leaving the page.  He chews and reads, continuing to chuckle at certain passages.

2).  Belmont and Clark area, outside: Young woman whispers into her cell phone– “I don’t know.  He just seems secretive.”

3).  Starbucks near Clinton green line stop.  Heavy-set man in rumpled business suit bangs into my table.  I’m eating an oatmeal cookie, not having a coffee, so no harm done.  Still, he doesn’t apologize and he sits down across from a nervous businesswoman.  She’s having a coffee but not paying much attention to it.  “They’ll probably show you documentation,” he tells her.  “Don’t say yes.  Don’t say no.  Say– I don’t know.  ‘I don’t know’ is still– uh– perfectly viable.”  At this, they both laugh feebly.  “If you say yes or no,” he continues, “They’re going to bring it up later.  When they show the documents– just say I don’t know.”

Neither of them seemed concerned that I was sitting close by.  Well, I was just an old lady with a cookie.


Red and green line stories– how Christmassy.

Trivia question:  Jack Tripper.  Janet Wood.  What was Chrissy’s full and formal name?

Thanks for stopping by.  Happy holidays!


Unrelated addendum:  Curious Theatre Branch’s Rhinofest, “the longest-running something in Chicago”, approaches.  January to February 2016.


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